Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Revision Begins

"Editing is housekeeping.  Revision is where the writer's journey truly takes place."  These words were spoken by Rafe Martin, beloved children's author and speaker, at an institute I attended for student writers in the North Penn School District (Lansdale, Pennsylvania).  His point is, the capitalization, punctuation, and grammatical corrections are the dusting and vacuuming of a house. Revision is when you take the two bedroom, 1 bathroom house and turn it into a mansion.  It's why writers put words to page.

With the first draft of CROSS complete in September '08, I submitted it to a respected colleague and experienced writer, Kathryn Craft.  Kathryn conducts her own business, Writing-Partner (, providing manuscript evaluation services.  Not only did she provide me with line-by-line commentary, but she also included a detailed, 8-page overview of potential alterations to the manuscript.  The journey of revising had begun.

Included with Kathryn's evaluation was this review, something she told me she rarely provides with any of her evaluations.

“This project is a gift to all of those who will read it.  Scott Heydt writes with a command born of unobstructed vision and crystalline voice.  Cross radiates with clarity.  It is my kind of book:  many laugh-out-louds, a few tears, and story arcs that ease the young reader beyond the threshold of the concrete into the realm of metaphoric thinking.  Drew is an instantly lovable protagonist who learns how to keep his anger from turning in on himself out of a burgeoning, multi-faceted respect: for a beloved teacher, for nature as represented by the classroom’s reptiles, for a sweet first romance, and for the type of buddy bonding we all yearn for.  People will remember reading it for years.”                 

~Mrs. Kathryn Craft, 

Humbling review, huh?  Here's the important message.  Every piece of writing needs revision.  Mine was certainly no different.  But Kathryn saw something special in CROSS.  Something resonating beyond the page.  This is the fuel I use each day to make the appropriate revisions so that readers can share in Drew's journey.


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